The benefits of custom packaging for small businesses

In retail, it’s no secret that packaging design matters. It’s a tried-and-tested strategy to catch consumers’ attention. It also keeps products protected and easy to transport and is a valuable place to display important information. Yet many small businesses still fail to take advantage of the branding opportunities offered by their packaging needs.

Today, retail is a multi-dimensional industry. We sell products and services everywhere, from temporary pop-up stores in fashionable districts to our Instagram feeds. Yet too often, our perceptions of what packaging can accomplish are rooted in outdated ideas. Packaging is still thought of as a container, rather than a value proposition. As a result, many businesses are missing out on the ways they can maximise this necessary investment.

Custom packaging has often been synonymous with ‘expensive’ because of a lack of cost-effective options for small businesses. However, this has changed dramatically in the last few years. MOQS (Minimum order quantities) have decreased as manufacturing processes grow more efficient. Where custom boxes once reigned supreme, we are now seeing custom tissue paper, custom stickers and custom tape joining the party, and much more besides.

This means that any business can integrate custom packaging elements into their design, without breaking the bank!

Here are just some of the benefits that custom packaging can bring your business:

1. Staking out your brand identity

When a custom packaging design is well-executed, it can become iconic enough to be recognised in its own right. Think of the luxury jeweller Tiffany’s, and their signature robin-egg blue boxes. Even when the brand name isn’t visible, the colour still sparks ideas of refinement and class in their customers. This might be an example from a global brand, but as an independent retailer, you can still engage in this form of brand storytelling.

If you compare your packaging to your other branding materials, it’s by far the biggest canvas available to you. Whether your key point of difference from your competitors is your colour palette, a stylish typeface or a funky logo, this is where you can let it take pride of place. Custom packaging gives you the freedom to get creative and explore what makes you unique.

Compare this to an Amazon-style cardboard box or plain packaging inserts. What kind of message does this give customers about your brand? Nothing at all. In such a competitive industry, a customer walking away with no impression can be just as harmful as a bad impression!

2. Creating a memorable unboxing experience

This is an extension of the prior point on brand recognition, but it means far more in the world of social media marketing. ’Unboxing’ has become something of a buzzword in discussions about viral online content, but it’s far more than a fad. The craze around ‘unboxing’ is an expression of what matters to consumers in 2019. It’s no longer just about the price or the product; it’s about the experience that brands give to their customers.

The feelings of novelty and exclusivity that unboxing experiences create are due to their uniqueness. If everyone curated their products in this way, we wouldn’t find it so engaging! Here, custom packaging and unboxing go hand in hand. The brand identity attached to the unboxing experience is what gives it social currency. It’s this currency that drives people to share it. Dotcom Distribution’s recent study found that just under half of consumers would about their purchases on social media if they involved custom or premium packaging!

So, your brand has a lot to gain by investing in custom packaging. It’s not just a method of displaying your products; it’s a powerful content strategy in its own right which drives brand awareness.

3. Creating another valuable touchpoint with your customers

Whether you have a physical store or an eCommerce operation, custom packaging has an important role to play. It operates as a piece of theatre that drives home how attention to detail is at the core of your brand ethos. Especially for online-only brands, these touchpoints are incredibly important. Forging personal connections with your customers without face-to-face interaction is challenging. Online communication can feel impersonal, and making a genuine impression is difficult.

The post-purchase phase is an often-neglected part of the buying journey because the transaction has already taken place. However, this is your chance to ensure that your customer’s final impression of your brand is a favourable one!

If you wrap a customer’s purchase in custom tissue paper at the point of sale or fulfil an online delivery in eye-catching branded wrapping, you have given your customer a solid reason to remember you. This is even more valuable than conventional marketing. Why? Because you have shown that you care about their experience with your brand, and strive to create a ‘value-added’ perception. It’s these interactions which will make your brand stand out from the crowd!

Contributor: Custom packaging, designed, sealed, delivered. —